By Cam Lucadou-Wells
A convicted murderer has faced sentence in the Victorian County Court over earlier charges of drug trafficking and handling stolen goods.
Paguir Pan, 22, of Dandenong South, was last year jailed for up to 24 years after point-blank shooting dead a childhood friend in Springvale in 2019.
On 25 July, Pan faced court again, pleading guilty to drug and theft offences prior to the killing.
At 18 years old, Pan and two other men were under investigation by Echo Taskforce detectives for an armed robbery, Judge Nola Karapanagiotidis said.
Pan ultimately did not face charges of armed robbery, but phone taps revealed him discussing the purchase, sale and delivery of cocaine, cannabis and methylamphetamine in late July 2018.
In separate deals, he arranged to supply “balls” (3.5 grams) of cocaine for $1000 each, pounds of cannabis and a ball (3.5 gram) of meth.
He was also in possession of an Audi sedan, a 2014 Ducati Panigale and a Jeep Grand Cherokee – all of which were bought via Gumtree with stolen bank cheques in late July 2018.
Judge Karapanagiotidis said the drug transactions were not quantified but were “relatively substantial”.
Pan’s drug-dealing was motivated not by profit or greed, but to support his long-term addiction to meth, cocaine, marijuana and Xanax, the judge noted.
This didn’t excuse his offending however, the judge said.
His young age and immaturity was also noted, as well as his early guilty plea and indications of remorse.
Pan hailed from a hard-working family of South Sudanese refugees, Judge Karanpanagiotidis said.
He’d struggled to articulate the impact of observing civil war during a visit to South Sudan, or of being in a car crash in which his friend was injured.
Judge Karapanagiotidis wanted to avoid a “crushing sentence” given the young Pan was already serving a substantial jail term since 2019.
His rehabilitation prospects were “guarded” but he was a young man best served by structured treatment and programs when released back into the community, she said.
Pan was sentenced to 12 months and two weeks jail.
But there was only a “modest” increase in his jail term for murder. All but one month of the sentence will be served concurrently.
His existing 16-year non-parole period was unaltered.